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Messages - sspaull

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General Discussion / SW Farmer & Sons Engineering, Lewisham
« on: January 29, 2014, 01:43:15 PM »
I am looking for information about this company. It was founded in 1898 and went private in 1929; as of 1961, it was a "constructional engineers, general iron workers and makers of iron staircases" with 450 employees. That's all I've found so far (Source: and I think I may need to take a trip to Lewisham Library.

But I would be most grateful for any memories of the place, especially if you worked there between 1949 and 1954 or your parent/grandparent did! It's for a book I'm writing.

Many thanks,

Sorry to reply to a topic that hasn't been touched for a while, but it seemed appropriate and I hope this might jog someone's memory! Can you help?


The Goldsmiths Community Centre is where it all started for guitarist Gary Boyle, whose biography I am researching and writing.

The Boyle family moved to Castillon Road in the early 1950s (between '52 and '54, it seems), when Gary was between the age of 11 and 13 (he was born in 1941). He would have been playing guitar at that time and was certainly playing it by the mid-late '50s. In the early 1960s, he became a professional musician, playing gigs in Hamburg, and later backing Dusty Springfield; after his stint with Dusty, he joined the Brian Auger Trinity with Julie Driscoll. Later, in 1972, he formed Isotope, a jazz fusion band and then pursued a solo career after Isotope disbanded in 1976.

I would be most grateful for any memories that Gary's contemporaries may have, especially if you played in a band or socialised with him at the community centre. When I mentioned the Goldsmiths Community Centre to him, he said: "That's where it all started!"

Many thanks,
Stewart Spaull  (My Author Page) (My Blog)

Notable Downham Residents (past and present!) / Re: Notable Downhamites
« on: January 14, 2014, 10:50:41 AM »
Since there's been some recent activity on this thread, I thought I'd ask here whether anyone remembers Gary Boyle. I posted elsewhere about this...

Basically, I'm researching his biography and am wondering if anyone on here remembers him from the '50s to early '60s. Further info in the above link.

Many thanks.

Thanks to Mike for allowing me to join up. So glad to have found this forum! I wonder whether you could help me with some information.

I am a writer and a massive jazz fusion fan. I have decided to write the biography of my favourite jazz guitarist, Gary Boyle.

A bit of background on Gary for you:

Born in India in 1941, he moved to the UK as a child and grew up in Catford -- on Castillon Rd, as it happens. He lived there from the age of about 12 to his early 20s. During his formative years, he went to the Goldsmiths Community Centre at the end of his street, where he played music.

He later turned pro and backed Dusty Springfield in the mid-60s, then became a member of the Brian Auger Trinity. After that, he worked with a Japanese percussionist called Stomu Yamash'ta, before forming his own jazz fusion band called Isotope. It was through hearing Isotope (sadly not live - I was born much too late for that!) that I fell in love with his music. Post-Isotope, he released some solo albums. Having lived in Notting Hill until the mid-70s, he moved up north, where he still lives and plays the guitar regularly.

I just wondered whether anyone on here remembers Gary from his formative years? Did you play in a band with him during your childhood? Were you at school with him? Any memories you are willing to share would be much appreciated! You can post below or send me a PM.

This is a picture of Gary from 1967. He is the one in the centre of the picture, with the guitar.

This is a picture of him from around 1974:

Another from around 1975 (Gary is at the back):

The pics above might, I hope, jog someone's memory.

Here is my blog:

Here is my facebook page:

Please feel free to follow my blog and like my page - you will get regular updates on the project.

Many thanks,

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